J.A. Happ has been a model of consistency for the Blue Jays this season.
His streak of superb starts came to a sudden end against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Curt Casali hit a three-run home run, Tim Beckham and Steve Pearce each hit two-run blasts and the Rays had four homers while beating Happ and Toronto 13-2 on Monday night.
Happ (5-1) entered as one of six undefeated big league starters, but matched a career worst by allowing eight runs and seven hits in two innings.
“I just didn’t execute,” Happ said. “It got away from me quick.”
It was the first time in eight starts this season that the left-hander had allowed more than three earned runs, and the first time he had failed to pitch at least six innings.
“He’s human, you know? He’s been so good, he’s been on such a nice little run. Chuck it out, move on,” manager John Gibbons said.
Happ’s woeful outing snapped a streak of 19 straight games in which Blue Jays starters worked at least six innings.
Happ blamed his struggles on an inability to locate his two-seam fastball.
“It was cutting on me instead of fading or sinking,” Happ said. “Then I tried to feel for it a little bit and that’s always a mistake. You’ve got to be aggressive with everything.”
Gibbons was ejected by home plate umpire Mike Winters for arguing a called third strike in the fourth.
It was the third ejection of the season for Gibbons and his second in two games — he was one of eight tossed in a game on Sunday against Texas that included Rougned Odor’s punch to the jaw of Jose Bautista. Toronto have lost three straight.
Desmond Jennings also homered, as the Rays set season highs in runs and hits (17).
“Just a great offensive outpouring by everybody,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “A lot of balls were hit with authority.”
Jennings and Steven Souza Jr each had three hits in the opener of an eight-game, three-city trip.
Drew Smyly (2-4) allowed one run and four hits in five innings to win for the first time in four starts.
Staked to a 2-0 lead on Pearce’s first-inning homer, Smyly nearly gave it back in the bottom half by walking the bases loaded with two-outs, throwing 10 straight balls at one stretch.
Smyly escaped the first by striking out Troy Tulowitzki on a 2-2 fastball.
Steve Geltz, Ryan Webb, Dana Eveland and Enny Romero each worked one inning for Tampa Bay.
Pearce connected off Happ in the first for his sixth. After Kevin Kiermaier’s sacrifice fly, Beckham made it 6-0 with a one-out drive in the second, his first.
Souza chased Happ with an RBI single in the third and right-hander Dustin Antolin came on for his Major League debut. After Jennings lined out to third, Casali drilled a three-run homer, his fifth.
Jennings, who came in zero for his past nine, made it 11-0 with a two-out, two-run double off Antolin in the fourth and then capped it with a leadoff blast off Jesse Chavez in the ninth.
In other results, it was:
‧ Marlins 5, Phillies 3
‧ Tigers 10, Twins 8
‧ Pirates 8, Braves 5
‧ Indians 15, Reds 6
‧ Diamondbacks 12, Yankees 2
‧ Athletics 3, Rangers 1
‧ Angels 7, Dodgers 6
APPROPRIATE RESPONSE: The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan expressed ‘sincere regret’ for publishing the image on its in-house magazine and Web site A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Games logo as the novel coronavirus has been pulled from online after Olympic organizers branded it “insensitive” and said that it infringed copyright. The design combines the distinctive, spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo Games logo. It appeared on the cover of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s magazine. The Tokyo Games have been postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and halted sport worldwide. Club president Khaldon Azhari yesterday said that the club had decided to withdraw the image and remove
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas’ burgeoning career, but he remains philosophical about the tennis shutdown. The world No. 6 would have been preparing for the French Open that was originally scheduled to start this weekend, but was postponed to September. While he is missing life on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas believes that the lockdown has given the planet a breather. “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year — it’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet,” Tsitsipas said in an Instagram Live conversation for At Home With Babsi on Eurosport’s Instagram page. “I
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly